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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Centre for Biological Sciences recognised for internationally excellent, world-leading research

Published: 18 December 2014

At the University of Southampton, we have sealed our position as one of the UK’s top research universities, ranking 11th for the volume of our high quality research in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

In Biological Sciences, we have seen a substantial improvement in the overall quality of our research, with 82 per cent of our activity being considered internationally excellent or world-leading; a significant rise since the last national exercise in 2008, when this figure stood at 50 percent. Critically, the proportion of our research specifically classified as world-leading has almost doubled since 2008, showing a clear upward progression on the global stage.

Professor Keith Jones, Head of the Centre for Biological Sciences, said:"I am extremely pleased that 82 per cent of our research submission was judged as 4star and 3star, or 'world-leading' and 'internationally excellent'. Given the importance of the knowledge economy to UK growth, I am especially delighted that we scored an impressive 100 per cent in terms of the impact of our research at 4star and 3star.”

Preserving the integrity of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor in Belize
Belize’s first wildlife corridor

Biological Sciences at Southampton is embarking on an exciting programme of expansion, with 10 new academic appointments planned within the next five years.  Professor Jones continued: “These encouraging REF results will help us to attract the very best researchers from across the world. Our GPA has risen considerably since the last assessment exercise, and I would like to congratulate our staff and research students for their role in achieving such positive results. We have established an ambitious plan for academic staff growth in Biological Sciences, and we are confident of ever increasing success as we move into the next REF. We urge all talented, innovative Biological Sciences researchers to scrutinise our REF results and what is on offer at the University, and consider making Southampton their new research home. "


an innovative electrostatic technology providing environmentally friendly pest control

Southampton’s Biological Sciences research has led to innovative applications across a broad spectrum of fields, from new technologies and drug discoveries to combatting crop pests and animal parasites; to major advances in the conservation of endangered species, and novel ways to explore pharmacological testing of 3D ‘mini-organs’ in vitro. These translational successes in Biological Sciences have ranked 15th in the UK across all universities, in terms of their impact on society and 12th in the UK for research intensity ranking.

84 per cent of the University’s overall research activity has been recognised as world-leading and internationally excellent. Over 96 per cent of our research environment and nearly 90 per cent of Southampton’s research impact have been assessed as world-leading and internationally excellent. 

For further information on the University of Southampton’s REF results, please visit the REF 2014 website.


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